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Homemade Dog Toys

Category Dog Toys
Dog toys can come in all shapes and sizes. Good dog toys don't have to come for the pet store; you can make great toys for your best friend at home. This is a guide about making homemade dog toys.


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Kelly Ann Butterbaugh11 found this helpful
December 8, 2010

As I watched our puppy rip apart yet another toy, it occurred to me that I might as well hand her the ten dollar bill to chew. I'm wasting my money buying pet toys at the store time and time again. Instead, there are cheaper homemade toys that are just as fun for the pup and much easier on my wallet.

Sock Toys

Old socks make great dog toys. Watch out that your pup doesn't think every sock is a toy, but it's easier to put socks away than to buy dozens of expensive chew toys. Be creative and make some great toys with your old tube socks. Just remember to take any small pieces so the dog doesn't eat the sock.

Stuff multiple socks inside one main sock. Tie the end and hand it off. Your dog has a great new chew toy without the stuffing that becomes such a problem. She can peel the layers off like an onion or chew all day. If you have a young pup, make the sock toy before washing the sock. We might not like the smell, but your puppy will appreciate your scent when you're away from home.

Double layer socks by stuffing one inside another. Then, fill the inside sock with sawdust. It's a different type of chew toy for a less aggressive chewer. If sawdust isn't available, use small animal bedding or a similar product.

The tug rope is the greatest toy to have when playing with a dog. Instead of purchasing a knotted rope at the pet store, make your own with old socks or t-shirts. Hold two socks together and knot them with other socks to create length. Make the knots tight so they don't give way while playing.


Water Bottles

Recycle in a whole new way with bottled water. After visiting the pet store for one more dog toy, I found an expensive but innovative toy. It was a stuffed raccoon, but instead of stuffing inside there was an empty water bottle. It made a pleasing crunching sound, and when the bottle was crushed a Velcro opening allowed it to be replaced. This gave me an idea, and I started to raid the recycling bin.

Combine the sock and the water bottle to recreate this toy. Place an empty plastic water bottle inside an old sock. Knot the sock and watch the fun.

Poke holes in the water bottle and remove the cap. Then, fill it with small or crushed dog treats. It works like the well-known Kong, allowing the dog to pester the bottle until small pieces of treats come out of the opening. If she destroys the bottle and gets the snacks, take the plastic before she can eat it and use a new bottle tomorrow.


On hot days fill the water bottle half way with water and lay it on its side in the freezer. Your dog has a solid chewing toy that will cool him in the hot weather, but it isn't too hard for his teeth.

Our pup invented the water bottle toy on her own. I left an empty bottle on the floor only to find her running through the house in absolute joy at her newly found toy. I did nothing to it, and it was just as pleasing to her.

Sew Your Own

Know that certain craft stores sell the squeaky inserts for toys as well as sound chips that will be activated when squeezed. Inserting these deep inside the sock toys or generic stuffed toys found at yard sales will make a perfect toy.

To create the stuffing free toy that so many stores sell, buy some heavy fabric and get out your sewing machine. Cut out a basic shape - dogs don't care. Layer six or seven layers of the fabric on top of each other, sewing each layer to the one below it.


Remember, it's okay for your furry friend to destroy his toys now. It only takes five minutes to make new ones.

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June 1, 200915 found this helpful

When making noise-making pet toys, such as the ones using empty water bottles, potato chip canisters, or pill bottles, use dry food or treats instead of the suggested marbles, bells, etc. If the pet gets the container open, there will be no risk of swallowing something harmful.

By Jeanie from IL

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April 22, 20054 found this helpful

My dog loves to chew on empty 20-ounce pop bottles, so I made an inexpensive variation of that. Take a 20-ounce pop bottle, drop a couple of dried beans inside, and put the cap on tightly. Slip the bottle inside an old tube sock and tie a knot in the top of the sock. My dog loves to chew on these and toss them around.


By truerblue

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By 5 found this helpful
September 10, 2008

Check out the remnant rack at your local fabric store. Find fleece, any kind, and cut it in 2 inch wide by 24 or 36 inch long strips. Place 3 together tie the ends together knotting it twice and start braiding to the end. Tie the other end.

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October 8, 2010

Now that our puppy is older and much bigger, I've been forced to come up with a new way to keep her entertained and out of my hair when I am cooking dinner.

Note: This ONLY works with that special "Safe-Edge" type of can opener, where it leaves the edges crimped and not sharp!

If you have one, use on your canned vegetables for the week, keeping the tin cans. I pour bacon grease in the bottom of one of the cans, and let her try to lick it out. You'd be amazed how many hours this simple and safe trick can buy you!

Like I said, though, NEVER USE on a sharp-edged can as it will hurt your pet.

By Brianna Southworth from Dutch Harbor, AK

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By 2 found this helpful
February 11, 2012

My dog loves a light stuffed toy hanging from a doorway on a length of elastic at a length that requires her to leap at to snatch at and grab. Then the toy is snapped away by the elastic when she lets go! She loves it, and so do I. It gives her exercise and we never get bored.

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By 2 found this helpful
August 30, 2011

Give your furry friends a Christmas present by sewing these cute animals. The patterns are very simple and inexpensive to make. This is also a great way to use up those scraps!

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March 12, 2012

I put small bits of food in a Parmesan cheese container for our dog. Older dogs are unable to chew it up, but can get hours of enjoyment trying to get the treat out.

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July 28, 2015

Use your old socks to make dog toys. Buy some squeakers, you can buy them in bulk online. I found them on Amazon. Roll one in some socks to make a small ball. Stuff that in a long one and tie one or two knots in it. It lasts longer than all those toys. Squeakers are optional, but the dogs like the hanging parts that flip around.

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December 27, 20161 found this helpful

This is a guide about making a rag knots chewing toy. If your dog loves to chew and play tug-o-war, a rag knots chew toy is perfect for them.

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By 1 found this helpful
July 10, 2008

This cheap dog toy also provides an IQ challenge. Put a piece of dog biscuit or a treat in a Propel water bottle (with no cap and the plastic retainer ring removed).

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January 3, 20170 found this helpful

This is a guide about squeakers for dog toys. If you are making or repairing dog toys you will need squeakers for them.

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December 27, 20160 found this helpful

This is a guide about making a braided fleece dog toy. You dog will love this easy to make braided tug-o-war toy.

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By 0 found this helpful
September 11, 2013

Put a dog treat under a jar lid and put it on the floor with the dog watching. It works a treat, just keep something handy for rescuing the lid from under the freezer, etc.

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Ask a QuestionHere are the questions asked by community members. Read on to see the answers provided by the ThriftyFun community or ask a new question.

By 0 found this helpful
March 29, 2010

I'm looking for an inexpensive way to make toys for a lot of hounds (hunting dogs). Any ideas? Thanks.

By Orinda T. Berg from Gloucester, VA


March 31, 20100 found this helpful
Best Answer

I put a tennis ball into the toe of an old sock and my puppy went wild for it. As he got older I used two socks for added strength. He's nearly two years now and gets excited when a new one surfaces! Tennis balls can be bought cheaply at sporting good stores, but you can easily pick some up at your local college or high school. Tennis players will leave balls that aren't responsive anymore and your dog doesn't care.

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March 5, 20010 found this helpful

Do you have any frugal chew toy ideas for dogs that are safe?

By Joy


March 5, 20010 found this helpful

When my leotards & other such stretchy knit clothes are too worn to wear on any self-respecting human, I wash & dry them & then tie them into big knots for use as dog tug-o-war toys. - Alekscat the frugal feline, Richmond,VA

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March 7, 20010 found this helpful

I used to work at a Goodwill thrift store and people would come in and buy the stuffed animals by the bagfuls! They were giving them to their animals as chews toys!! You can also find cheap stuffed toys at the Salvations Army, etc.

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May 20, 20020 found this helpful

For the cheap dog toys request, Please let her know that many attended laundrymats keep a lost and found. After so long they discard the clothes. Towels and socks knotted make excellent dog toys. If she can sew, you can get squeakers and rattles at some craft stores. Also greyhound rescues often have days where you can volunteer to help make toys and blankets. If she attends one of these or can talk to the person in charge, you can get the toys cheap, or at least learn to make them.
- Rachel

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By hwalz (Guest Post)
May 5, 20040 found this helpful

Yard sales and garage sales are also a source of cheap stuffed animals.

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April 25, 20050 found this helpful

Our dog loves playing with empty plastic cola bottles, especially the 2 liter size; Plain ol ordinary twigs & sticks; Ice cubes on the kitchen floor.

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By jerica bouchard (Guest Post)
July 19, 20050 found this helpful

well you could take a old sock and stuff it with the other old sock and sew the end together and you have it a inexspenive dog toy. for cats take small baby mittens and
again stuff it with fluff and then sew the end together. (if you want slip alittle catnip in with the fluff) you could watch you cat go crazy with his/her new toy.

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February 10, 20060 found this helpful

My dog only plays with tennis balls, but the ones marketed for pets are not good enough (pop in thirty minutes) In the sporting goods, you can get three for less than the price of two in the pet department if you look for practice balls. Also, tennis clubs may have them for sale if you go through a lot, and I have even seen used ones at thrift stores. We always found one per week during the summer at the apartment tennis courtyard we lived next to! THe longest he has kept one intact (or not lost) is one year.

For my cat (passed on in 2004) she loved those plastic seals from frozen orange juice concentrate cans, they were big enough to not fall apart when she chewed them, but we always had a ton under the refridgerator!

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February 10, 20060 found this helpful careful on your choices for chew toys...when they misplace their favorite, they WILL look for replacements. I had that problem with shoes. My husband gave a puppy we had an old slipper, then she started on others. And if you have young kids, or plan to have them around, stay away from squeakers and rattles in the softies...a lot of baby snuggles have them.

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February 15, 20060 found this helpful

I pick my dog's toys at either garage sales or thrift stores, but Walmart also has a great assortment for $1.

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March 24, 20060 found this helpful

I'd be careful about using soda bottle caps - I always take them away from my dog because of concern about choking. I've also heard of dogs choking on ice cubes.

My dog isn't a big chewer, so she is okay with the soft plastic yogurt tops. She likes to carry them around and hoard them.
You could also use the lid of a soft plastic container (like generic Cool Whip top) as a frisbee - just watch for chewing.

Dog also likes stuffed rabbits with embroidered faces - found at garage sale or thrift store. I don't have to worry about eyes coming off. Watch for choking hazards with stuffed animals.
Also, my vet said to be careful about plastics that break - they could cause an obstruction or perforation. (I have to watch for plasticware - she finds everything and carries it around or chews a bit.)

I've seen dogs that like to play with a trickle of water from the hose - fun when you are watering things. Then they play in the puddles on patio.

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April 18, 20060 found this helpful

Our doberman goes through dog toys like water. Any stuffed or soft toy, she rips apart within a half hour. The hard "chew-proof" toys? A joke. She destroys them in a day or two. My solution: I take old rags or wash cloths, cut them in half, fold in half, sew up two sides, turn inside out, stuff with two or three plastic grocery bags, and sew the last side closed. She LOVES them. She really seems to enjoy the "crunchy" sound and texture of the bags inside.

She also got quite a kick out of a large white plastic vitamin bottle (empty and clean), with dried beans inside, all stuffed inside a large sock and tied off. We had to keep an eye on her, though, and take the bottle away once she had broken it open and started chewing on it.

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April 19, 20060 found this helpful

For Ree - try racquet balls, the blue ones by Wilson (?) They are guaranteed for game use, but the dobe/lab puppy we had could only play with that ball because she would destroy EVERYTHING (including my shoes and a squeaky gorilla she disembowled!)

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By Lynn (Guest Post)
September 8, 20060 found this helpful

those are good toy ideas but my pup is a pomeranian a toy dog about the size of a medium stuffed dog toy. he loves the little ping pong balls my dad gives him. he goes MAD for them he runs around trying to hold them in his mouth but it pops out since its slippery then he starts running around pushing it with his nose. you could also take a toilet paper roll and fill it with peanut butter and twist it and lighty tie the ends put a little on the outside and your dog will go mad for the pb

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By Hamrsark (Guest Post)
December 9, 20070 found this helpful

I see where the one person says his/her dog(s) ONLY play with tennis do mine! But instead of BUYING tennis balls, I went to the local tennis club and ask if they would be throwing any out soon (they only keep them a few months then toss them!). I got a box with about 300 balls in it for FREE! How's THAT for frugal! LOL

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By Stngray (Guest Post)
June 7, 20080 found this helpful

Go on E-bay and look for toys made of tire rubber. My German Shep. loves her tire on a rope and she also has an unbreakable large ball on a rope. You can even buy unbreakable soft rubber frizbees, etc. You can search on E-bay and get them brand new cheaper than at the pet stores. Normal toys for regular dogs are a waste of money for powerful dogs and they can be dangerous.

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By Laurie (Guest Post)
June 7, 20080 found this helpful

Someone on Freecycle had a bag of large empty Propel bottles (they're VERY hard plastic). My Cavalier King Charles Spaniel and Boston Terrier love them! I take off the cap and the label, and they could play for hours. Now THAT'S frugal!

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By Sandy (Guest Post)
June 7, 20080 found this helpful

You can take some fleece you might have left over from a sewing project and cut three 18 to 24 inch strips. Make them any width that would braid easily. Braid them together and knot or use string to secure the ends. This works well for a tug-of-war toy for a small to medium sized dog.

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By Elizabeth Sprague (Guest Post)
June 25, 20080 found this helpful

I had the same problem finding something like this, so I make them now! I make fleece pet toys that contain no dangerous plastic parts and no stuffing. They are priced low so even if your pet makes it their mission to destroy every toy you give them at least it doesn't cost you much.Sizes are small to X-Large $.79 to $3.29 each and great wholesale price breaks! They are also machine washable. Email for more info @ cuddlemonkeez at or check out my store at

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June 26, 20080 found this helpful

My daughter's dog loves to chase the cardboard boxes that cereal and crackers come in. We use them as indoor frisbees. I hope this isn't going to lead to a problem later on. He happily shreds the box, we pick up the bits of cardboard, vacuum daily, and that's that.
The boxes were being kept in a large box (thick cardboard from the grocery store that cans of soup might come in), next to a trash can - but that was next to the computer. I have since learned to keep his 'toybox' away from electrical components.

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September 13, 2010

Puppies are the best! That is, until you're trying to do your house work and your puppy is constantly underfoot. I have a tip that I use once in a while to gain me some peace. I take once slice of lunch meat, roll it up and stuff it into an empty water bottle with the cap off. Then I lure our puppy to a quiet corner of the house away from where I am working and let her try to get it out.

The chewing feels good on her baby teeth, which aren't big or strong enough yet to tear through the bottle. She ends of throwing it around and getting bits of meat out while I get things accomplished. It's a win-win situation!

By Brianna from Dutch Harbor, AK

Puppy laying on towel.

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ThriftyFun is one of the longest running frugal living communities on the Internet. These are archives of older discussions.

December 7, 20091 found this helpful

Homemade Dog Toys
I have a dog and I am getting a puppy. I need to make some toys for them and I need ideas.

Paige from Delray, Florida


Homemade Dog Toys

My dog likes a carrot tied in a sock. It is good for teething. (08/17/2008)

By Janet

Homemade Dog Toys

I bought my dog a "Kong" toy when he was a pup for about $8.00 or so. I've had to replace it just recently and he is 13 years old.(Boxer) To me it's safer for him than fabric or plastic would be and well worth the money. (08/20/2008)

By Lady

Homemade Dog Toys

I just did this with my puppy and he loves it. I took and old paper towel tube and put Scooby snacks and some of his other treats in it and cut a hole in the tube and he loves it. (09/13/2008)

By Doodle

Homemade Dog Toys

If you have a tree in your backyard, try this one. Find a limb that's approximately 20 feet up in the tree and tie one end of a 25 foot rope around the limb. Tie knots and loops in the other end so that it hangs about 2 feet off the ground. It works like a tug'o'war they can play by themselves. I found rope at a farm supply store and spent about $10 for the whole thing. I have a high energy dog and this keeps her entertained for hours. (09/25/2008)

By Charlotte

Homemade Dog Toys

After finishing a 20 oz. plastic bottle of soda, wrap it in a towel and hit the bottom end with a hammer a couple of times to take out the shape, then take some small treat bones and put them in the bottle. The pup gets a "rattle" and has to work for their treat. (11/06/2008)

By CDiddy

Homemade Dog Toys

I just make an origami claw out of strong paper and give it to my dog and she can play with it for a few hours before I have to make a new one (they are very easy to make). My dog is a big Husky Pit Bull mix and is three years old.

By Kristina Emily

Homemade Dog Toys

I got some cellophane and stuck it inside a roll of paper and used duct tape to tape the ends up so it doesn't come out. Then I wrapped it all up in more duct tape. But you have to wrap it in like heaps of duct tape so your dog doesn't chew it up. Don't forget to go over the ends with duct tape too or else your dog could get it off the end and then eat the cellophane and its probably not that tasty. This toy suits big dogs because when they bite it the cellophane crackles and often a little dog like a Pomeranian doesn't have a strong enough jaw to bite it so it crackles. Its called a Munch and Crunch. (01/07/2009)

By Sam

Homemade Dog Toys

I take the empty cardboard tube that comes with a paper towel or toilet paper roll, insert a doggie treat, then fold and pinch the cardboard ends several times to seal it up. It's ungainly, but he doesn't care.
I throw it, he fetches, I grab it and throw it again, he's interested in guarding it. The toy is good for a few minutes of his attention. Not exactly a doggie long lasting toy, but good for the occasional diversion. (01/11/2009)

By Holly

Homemade Dog Toys

My dog loves to eat peanut butter. What I do is take a squeaky toy with many nooks and crannies. I smother on PB in the hard to reach places. My dog loves to try to get his tongue to reach the PB. (02/16/2009)

By Lenny

Homemade Dog Toys

My opinion is for heavy chewers or dogs that weight over 50 pounds. My Bull Terrier loves to chew as much and often as possible. I tried putting a container with water and letting her bob for apples, this entertained her for a hour till she got the apple and ate it. Putting rice in a plastic bottle worked for 2 minutes.

But I found the best way to get her chewing habits relieved was a normal Kong (I have to use the extra strength black, but whatever fits your breed), and making homemade dog frozen treats like (mixed banana honey or plain yogurt honey and oats) keep her busy the most, changing up what you put in the Kong keeps them more interested than just freezing peanut butter every time. And to give her something to just destroy I give her paper towel rolls. I put treats in the middle and fold up the ends. (do not use string or ties on the ends if you dog eats or swallows it it can cause deadly intestinal damage). (02/20/2009)

By Bull Terrier Owner

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December 8, 20100 found this helpful

I am looking for a pattern for fleece dog lanyards/pull toys. Anyone out there have any ideas? Thanks.

By Michelle from Highland, MI


Homemade Dog Toys

Newspaper ball: roll up newspaper. Cover it with several layers of duct tape.

Jeany the octopus: cut eight strips from a pair of old jeans. Tie a knot in the end of the strips. Make a face on the knot. Make duct tape hair. Cover the tentacles with duct tape.

Sock ball: put a tennis ball in an old sock. Tie a knot at the end.

Sock bottle: put a bottle inside the sock. Tie a knot in the end.

Hope this helps! :-) (05/02/2010)

By pempemem1

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March 29, 20100 found this helpful

I am unemployed and even when I had a job, we wasted a lot of money on pet toys our Lab/Pointer destroyed in a few minutes. Cheap toy ideas (please supervise your pet during play) can be right (almost) in your garbage.

Take an empty tissue box (cut off the plastic liner around the opening if there is one) and stick some small treats (food) inside. The dog will rip up the cardboard and play with this "busy box" you can then throw away. Get a paper lunch bag and stick some treats inside (I used bits of left over cheese or meat). Close the top and toss to your dog.

By Di from VT


Thrifty Home Made Dog Toys

A good source for stuffed toys for your pup is your neighborhood thrift store. Small stuffed toys are usually around 50 cents. Just make sure that you get the kind with sewn eyes, etc., so that your dog won't be eating little plastic features or accessories. (01/04/2009)

By Gerri

Thrifty Homemade Dog Toys

If you have an old pair of jeans (or any sturdy pant leg material) cut a leg off, you can put a tennis ball (or squeaky type toy if you prefer) inside and tie each end, or two tennis balls and knot each space. Good for tough chewers. Be careful with stuffed toys, the stuffing can be swallowed and become impacted and then you get a lovely trip to the vet. (01/06/2009)

By Amy

Thrifty Homemade Dog Toys

Our lab loves empty water bottles, without the cap of course. Also, if you don't mind the mess, ours also loves to carry off an empty 12 pack soda box and carry it around the house. Eventually it ends up shredded, but provides a lot of entertainment in the meantime. (01/11/2009)

By Chris

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March 23, 20100 found this helpful

I have an 8 week old chocolate Lab/Shepherd and he always tears up his toys. I love to make toys; do you have any ideas on toys I can make him before Christmas?

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August 15, 20080 found this helpful
Click to read more ideas from older posts on ThriftyFun.
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